North Carolina Braces for Florence Storm Surge

16 September, 2018, 13:32 | Author: Tara Reeves
  • This image provided by NASA shows Hurricane Florence from the International Space Station on Wednesday Sept. 12 2018.
NASA via AP

Weather Underground meteorology director Jeff Masters said Florence eventually could strike as a Category 1 with winds less than 160km/h, but that's still enough to cause at least $1 billion in damage.

In addition to the storm surge, "There is going to be a lot of rain", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said on Thursday. "Catastrophic effects will be felt".

Hurricane Florence's leading edge battered the Carolina coast Thursday, bending trees and shooting frothy sea water over streets on the Outer Banks, as the hulking storm closed in with 90 miles per hour (135 kph) winds for a drenching siege that could last all weekend.

A flash flood watch is under effect for Nash and Edgecombe counties through Saturday evening, as Florence is expected to slow its forward progress tonight into Friday before moving slowly west-southwest late Friday into Saturday, producing a prolonged period of torrential rainfall across sections of the Piedmont and Coastal Plain.

As Florence churned slowly towards the coasts of North and SC as a Category 2 hurricane, federal and state officials issued final appeals to residents to get out of the path of the "once in a lifetime" weather system.

The cone of probability for Hurricane Florence as of 11:00 p.m. EDT, Sept. 13, 2018.

The "threat of freshwater flooding will increase over the next several days" in the impacted areas.

The US National Hurricane Center described how winds of up to 90 miles (150 kilometers) per hour were pummeling the state of North Carolina.

Florence's weakening as it neared the coast created tension between some who left home and authorities who anxious that the storm could still be deadly.

Areas along the SC coast, including Myrtle Beach, reported power outages Friday morning and early afternoon.

Race to rescue people stranded in US hurricane
Remainder of SC and North Carolina into southwest Virginia...5 to 10 inches, isolated 15 inches. Another one of the bears ended up in the middle of the street in the background.

In Jacksonville, North Carolina, next to Camp Lejeune, firefighters and police fought wind and rain as they went door-to-door to pull dozens of people out of the Triangle Motor Inn after the structure began to crumble and the roof started to collapse. Millions were expected to lose power from the storm and restoration could take weeks.

At least 12,000 people had taken refuge in 126 emergency shelters with more facilities being opened. We know it has forced the cancellation of almost 1,800 flights, with more to come, and that it has already caused serious flooding in coastal areas.

The outer bands of the storm were already reaching the coast Thursday, bringing tropical-force winds and rain. It has also moved most ships, submarines and planes out their base at Hampton Roads, Virginia, to safety far at sea or in distant airbases.

Preparing for the worst, about 9,700 National Guard troops and civilians were deployed with high-water vehicles, helicopters and boats.

"This is a very risky storm", said FEMA's Long, urging people still in evacuation zones to heed orders to flee to safer ground.

Storm swell is predicted to reach almost 4 metres in height near the coastal cities of Wilmington and Jacksonville, absolutely devastating structures in the region.

Mayor Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune told CNN traffic out of the SC city has more than quadrupled as residents and visitors evacuate.

When staff realized a nearby Bojangles would stay open, NBC's Matt Bradley says, they opened back up.

The police chief of Wrightsville Beach suggested that those who made a decision to stay give him their next-of-kin contact information.

Surrounding them, a vehicle is flooded, then suddenly begins to float as the waters get higher - becoming a potential battering ram. "We got thrown into mailboxes, houses, trees", said Holt, who had stayed at home because of a doctor's appointment that was later canceled. "We're fully prepared. Food, medical, everything you can imagine, we are ready". The huge storm weakened to a Category 2 hurricane overnight, but forecasters warned that it still packed a risky punch, 110 mile-an-hour (175 kph) winds and torrential rains. "Plan to be without power for days".

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